Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks to the Press

Secretary BLINKEN: Good afternoon, everyone. I recently had the opportunity to visit Camp As Sayliyah. This is a joint effort between the Department of Defense, the Department of State to help bring Afghans, Afghan allies to the United States. It is where we are working to examine them medically, check them for security purposes, and complete the formalities that go along with getting their visas to the United States.

It’s a great work that brings together different parts of our government, starting with DOD and State, but also DHS, DOJ, FBI, other agencies. For me, it is very important to get a chance to see the whole team working on this. I’ve done this all over the world, including at Dulles when we take people there, and it’s very satisfying. I had the opportunity to spend time with some of the children who, while they were in Camp As Sayliyah, were going to school – learning English, math, history and geography – children no older than mine self And I had the opportunity to tell them that in my situation, at an age not much different than theirs, I moved from my country, the United States, to another, and I know how dangerous it is how, how difficult. , but it is wonderful that there are many people in the United States waiting to welcome them.

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At Camp As Sayliyah, since the Afghan evacuation began, we have had about 23,000 Afghans from; 21,000 are already in the United States, and we are continuing to work to bring Afghans out and beyond here. We thank our colleagues in Qatar for supporting this project and helping many Afghans find a new life in the United States.

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At the same time, all the way back to the beginning of this administration, we’ve been working to reset, to simplify, to make the whole process of bringing Afghans to the United States necessary. get a special visa. These are Afghans who have worked with us, with the Department of Defense, with the State Department, with others in Afghanistan for over 20 years. Since the beginning of our management, we have provided additional resources. We have worked to improve the process that Congress has mandated to quadruple the number of workers on US visas. The result is, among other things, that makes the first determination of eligibility – an important step in the process – we have cut that period from 883 days at the beginning of our first lead to 105 days now. We are also looking for ways to improve the process of moving people who try to come to the United States under Special Immigrant Visas.

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I said at the beginning, when we were leaving Afghanistan, that it would be a strong mission to bring to the United States Afghans who stand by us. That work continues, that mission is steadfast, and we will see it through.

Thank you.


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